VORLD / COOL
If I had to name the top 3 most used adjectives of my generation, 'cool' would undeniably come in first place. Sometimes this weird thing happens where I get something stuck in my head, not even a song, just a lyric, a face, a melody or in this case, a 4 letter word. In an attempt to calm this week's verbal obsession I thought I'd go on an online exploration of the origin of the word cool as I couldn't quite point out why it was such a popular and desirable quality to assign to people, places and things.
Studying at a fashion university, you sometimes feel as if 'being cool' is the holy grail of social status. The brands you wear, the people you hang out with, the places you go - as long as they're cool, you're cool, life is cool and you can comfortably count yourself into the 'cutting edge' of your reference group. But, being cool is far from easy, in fact, it's a constant struggle and hard work. So, why do we give this word so much importance, though, it's literal meaning simply defines something as being of a cold temperature? Now that I think about it, I'm not actually sure if I event want to be regarded as cool - I'd much rather be seen as a warm person! This leads me to the actual root of my 'cool obsession', which is the realisation that what I regard as cool, someone else might regard as completely retarded, embarrassing and boring (and yes, this has happened before!). The meaning of 'cool' appears to be a highly subjective thing, which is influenced by our own identity and self image, our way of seeing the world and the way we want to be perceived by others. Also, I believe it entails this ancient, human desire of belonging. For instance, when I tell people about my friends I would generally describe them as being 'cool', simultaneously implying that I, myself, share the same values and characteristics with my peers. In a way, I guess, it makes me feel secure and accepted.
Another layer can be added to the cool discussion when taking into account the historical origins of 'cool'. I stumbled across this interesting radio interview, which features New York Times Magazine's language columnist Ben Zimmer, in which he tries to shed light on the past and current meaning and connotations of cool. This shows how fluid and dynamic languages are, as cool had existed in general slang since the twenties, being used in the US to differentiate between two styles of 'Hot Jazz' and 'Cool Jazz'. If you're eager to find out more cool history stuff about cool, I invite you to watch the video below.
Even after thorough research and analysis, I have to say I still don't fully understand what all of this stress around being cool is about. Therefore, I'd rather leave it open for further discussion - what's your view on the topic and your personal definition of 'cool'? For now, I'll leave you with a couple of real cool images of a not cool but very warm and sunny day I spent with two very cool people (ha, see what I did there?).
GAGOSIAN GALLERY //
Gagosian gallery in Mayfair is currently showing the world's first joint exhibition of works by artists Yves Klein and Alberto Giacometti. The exhibition's curator explains that dealing with the consequences of World War II both artists "rather than creating something that reflected the chaos, chose to rise above it, transforming and deciphering it into elegant, lyrical matter". Definitely check it out if you can, as the pairing of Klein's vibrant paintings with Giacometti's intricate sculptures is a both unusual and complimentary sight.
HALCYON GALLERY //
On our way to Marylebone, we popped into Halycon Gallery to have a look at their current 'Warhol Icons' exhibition, which featured over a hundred of his pieces (and much more than the omnipresent Campbell's tomato soup).
LA FROMAGERIE //
We ended the day at one of my all-time London 'happy places', Patricia Michelson's La Fromagerie in Marylebone. What started as a market stall in Camden market has now become a full on sensual, culinary temple featuring the very best cheese, wine and produce in town, sourced from all over Europe. We ordered their seasonal cheese platter to share as well as some refreshing drinks.
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